WOW, I want this lens! The new Panasonic Leica 12mm f/1.4 for Micro 4/3

WOW, I want this lens! The new Panasonic Leica 12mm f/1.4 for Micro 4/3

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LEICA AND PANASONIC have announced an awesome new lens for the ever-growing and impressive Micro 4/3 lineup! This time, Leica has brought some of its magic to M 4/3 in the way of a 12mm f/1.4! This will give us a 24mm equivalent, just like the old Olympus 12mm f/2 but with a faster aperture of f/1.4, and I suspect, better performance as the Leica Micro 4/3 lenses have all been STELLAR.

I will be pre-ordering this for my Pen-F or who knows, maybe by the time it is released in August I will also own a Panasonic GX85, as I have one on the way TOMORROW for review with a couple of great lenses.

I feel this one will deliver amazing performance as these collaborations between these two giants have NEVER EVER disappointed.

You can pre order this lens HERE at B&H Photo but watch out, its pricey at $1299. Even so, I expect it to be STUNNING. Some already have tested it with great feedback.

I will be doing a full review of this lens soon. Next week be on the lookout for my Panasonic GX85 review, as well as a crazy comparison between the GX-85 and the Sony A7RII, just for fun of course 😉

Amazon also is selling this lens via prime, and they do not charge until it ships, so if you change your mind, it is easily canceled. My order is in!


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  2. YES YES on Oly 12mm f2. At 12mm how often do we need 1.4 vs 2? With 5 axis stabilzation can shoot slower speed to compensate for 1 stop light. Size, price and build on Oly are great!

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  4. I am quite happy at the moment with the Sigma 18-35 1.8 EF mount adapted via speed booster ultra to m43 to give approx 13-25mm f1.2. There is however some vignetting issues at the corners when using it at the widest angle, and the lens is impressively large.

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  6. No qualms from me. It will probably perform as well as the Nocticron and is well worth the cost. For me, these super sharp primes are better suited to a FF system.

    MFT to me is my E-M5ii, 12-40 and 40-150 Pros that all perform highly, are relatively small and light and fit in a smaller bag. But glad to see the format still growing and pushing out stellar products.

  7. Thank you Steve for those crazy comparisons you make. They’re unique and fun to read. I’ll be looking forward to this Panasonic GX-85 and the Sony A7RII crazy comparison.

  8. If this had been a 17.5mm Nocticron, i’d have been all over it! – system still missing a stellar 35 equiv imo. System is also still missing a body with dual memory card slots! if those two aspects are addressed, I could stay M43 for a long time.

  9. A few months ago I saw a video comparison between the PEN-F and the GX8. Both great cameras, but the color results were very very very different. I hope you will also take a few shots with the PEN-F to compare them with the Panasonic GX85 and the Sony A7RII.

    Everybody does it, but I always wonder how useful a comparison between two cameras from different systems is. Only if you wanted to start from scratch you probably would be interested in both. (That only happens to me once in fifteen years or so). Maybe I would buy a full frame mirrorless Sony in that case, but since I am a satisfied user of the M43 system there is not one hair on my head that would consider getting one.

    • I also find a Sony A7 system very appealing and they have an interesting array of FE and now GM lenses as well that would fulfill my wishes. But that would mean much bigger and even more expensive lenses.
      So like you I’m very satisfied with my M43 system and I’m sticking with it, exapnding along the way.

      Indeed I’d also love to see the comparison you ask for to see if the Oly colors remain better.
      I have two Oly bodys but adding a less expensive body like the GX85 to benefit from dual IS on lenses like the 42,5 and 100-400 might be an idea as well.
      That’s about the only thing that bothers me from the M43 system: better cooperation between Panasonic and Olympus to offer full-feature compatibility for their lenses as both have a great selection of them.

      Is your body an Oly as well? Do you use the Olympus Viewer software?
      I do before I import to Lightroom for two reasons: better RAW conversion than any software I tried (escpecially color and sharpness) and now with the PEN-F it’s possible to shoot in RAW and apply your monochrome and color profiles from the camera in the software eliminating the need for shooting in JPEG to have them applied.

      • Yes, I use Olympus with a range of primes. I was using Aperture but since it’s not supported anymore I work with Apple Foto’s now. Not an improvement, but a simple program, easy to use and enough for what I need. For forty years I worked as a graphic designer, so I had my share of fine tuning of images and photo editing. In 2016 we may expect that our manufacturers supply us with high quality standard programs.

        Five years ago I was still busy with getting all my digital work into print. I can’t remember the tipping point but nowadays I find myself busy with making all my prints and slides digital. Since my retirement I travel and photograph more than ever but I want convenience in the first place. Shoot both in raw as well as jpegs. The OOC colors of Olympus are great and hardly need post processing. If (art) prints were my thing I would probably still be using my Mamiya 7 and my Rollei with Kodak Portra. Olympus colors come close. Because of my past I still know some photographers who expose their work in galleries and museums and who are still using (large format) film. I also like the OOC looks of Pentax, Nikon 1 or Leica for example. Don’t know what to think of the new Panasonics yet, but they surely look different.

        This 12mm Panasonic/Leica is very tempting. During my trips I somehow always end up inside dark interiors of museums, churches or tombs and a fast wide angle is the best thing to have with you. My wife doesn’t know, but I once had an intimate relationship with a Canon F1 and a 24mm/1.4…

  10. micro 4/3 was supposed to be a cheaper and smaller alternative to full frame. More and more these lenses become almost as big and just as expensive.. what’s the point?

      • This new Panny/Leica is 1.4 not 2.8. If you want to get hung up on equivalency go right ahead but it won’t do you any good.

    • M43 was never cheaper. It was an early adopter system where you could pay more in order to own a smaller camera kit with image quality close to DSLR.

      But since the A7 series the paradigm got shifted. The minute I laid hands on the small/excellent Sony Zeiss 35/2.8 I knew i would never go back to m43.

      • Well, as long as you only want to use fixed focal length lenses that are not too long than indeed – you can get APS-C or FX mirrorless camera and the combo will not be much larger + you get shallower DOF (if that is what you want/need). But go for high quality zooms or tele lenses and the size/weight advantage of the m4/3 really becomes obvious. It is simply a matter of preference and use case.

        • You see this is where I really disagree. A m43 tele zooms might seem small if you look at their equivalent focal lengths, but m43 sensors gave no cropping latitude what so ever.

          A7RII + Sony 70-400 G2 will put you in the same size weight ball park as an E-M1 + Panasonic 100-400. Just the A7R2 will let you crop crop crop as you please still with better IQ than the m43 combo.

  11. Nice, but a Batis 25 f2 & Sony a7II comes at a price comparable to one of the better mft bodies plus this new Pana-Leica 12mm, is not that much bigger and heavier and produces files of a different league.

    • I do use MFT and value the small size of the system, especially mated with a Panasonic 35-100 2.8. But your example is compelling and I can’t help but agree.

  12. Olympus and Panasonic make some of the best glass available period. I particulary like the Nocticron, 25mm 1.4 and Zuiko 75mm.

    @Steve do you think it’s likely that Panasonic/Leica will update the 25mm 1.4 to reflect the more modern handling and characteristics of the new 12mm and 42.5mm (aperture ring control, metal etc…)?

  13. “NEVER EVER disappointed”? I misassumed that since I had not seen the 15mm review and had seen that you had one to review, that perhaps it would not be recommended.

  14. Looking forward to all three those reviews from you Steve, even the crazy comparison. 🙂

    I’m hoping in the GX-85 review there will be an opportunity to give some attention to the the Pana IBIS + OIS with for example the 42,5mm or 100-400mmm lenses and compare that to using them OIS only on a Pen-F or O-MD.

    I’m also excited about this new 12mm f1.4 but am waiting a bit to see what the new Oly primes are that will be released. There are rumors on some f1.2 lenses, I guess three or four of them and 25mm and 45mm being the most likely candidates but what will the rest be? 12,17,75?
    And then there’s my wish for an Oly 100-400 …. Photokina can’t come soon enough. 😉

  15. Really love my 42.5 and my 15mm leicasonics, but 12mm is kinda close to the 15mm i love so i probably skip on this one due to price. I know it’s worth it, but i’m not a wide-angle dude. 🙂

  16. I love this lens but the price…I don’t know if I’m ready for that!
    I was all set on saving up for the 12mm 2.0 for my PenF but now?!?!

    • The Oly 12mm is a tiny, discreet and very well made lens with fast AF (and at the time it came out, it seemed crazy expensive for a m4/3). It’s the one m4/3 lens I’d keep even if I sold my m4/3 bodies, as it’s such a beautiful lens. This price tag just seems too much to me, no matter how good the performance. I’d go for the size advantage of the Olympus.

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